The newest building to Knox's campus, the Whitcomb Art Center (WAC), is home to the art and art history departments. The space is designed to reflect the studies it houses, with spaces for studio classes, seminars, and classrooms, but is also designed to highlight Knox's commitment to sustainability. The building is not only stylish, but also an environmentally friendly structure that was designed with future LEED certification in mind.
Here are just a few of the innovations included in the building design to help reduce the impact on energy, water, and resources.
- More than ¾ of waste generated during the demolition and construction of WAC were reused or recycled.
- The building layout maximizes natural light, allowing it to evenly distribute throughout the space.
- Rainwater is diverted to two rain gardens that lead to a prairie plot, reducing the strain on the stormwater system.
- Wood, reclaimed from former demolition projects, is used as accents throughout the building.
- Four tall trees shade an outdoor patio, cooling the space outside the building.
- Furniture and construction materials are low-emitting, reducing indoor air quality concerns.
- Building systems are automated and designed to optimize energy performance.
Though design and planning makes a sustainable building, it is really up to the building occupants to ensure systems can function as they were designed. Here are a few tips to help keep WAC sustainable!
- Turn off lights when you are done with a space. Many of the communal spaces are on building controls to turn off when the building is empty, but smaller rooms are controlled by you.
- Reduce water use. Running a sink longer than necessary wastes water. Think about collecting water in a container to wash a number of items at a time.
- Personal comfort is important for every degree you raise the thermostat you increase your energy use. Try wearing layers in the colder months instead of turning up the heat.
- Be aware of items that Knox can and can't recycle. Think about reusing something before throwing it out.